Quarry approval expected near three historic henges
APPROVAL is finally expected to be given next week for the quarrying of 1.1 million tonnes of sand and gravel less than a mile from three Neolithic henges.
Nosterfield Quarry, near Masham, produces 500,000 tonnes of sand and gravel a year and is the source of 20 per cent of the material in North Yorkshire. The new permission – taking quarrying further away from Thornborough Henges – will extend its life by two years.
An application for a larger site was refused permission in February, 2006, because North Yorkshire County Councillors decided the extraction of 2.2 million tonnes of aggregate would have an unacceptable impact on the archaeological remains.
In January last year approval was given to a revised scheme extending quarrying across 76 acres of Ladybridge Farm at Nosterfield.
It was quashed after The Friends of Thornborough Henges began a legal challenge in the High Court.
Now the application has been reviewed. When planning committee members meet at Masham Town Hall on Tuesday next week the Director of Business and Environmental Services, Richard Flinton, will recommend that permission be granted.
In a report to councillors, Mr Flinton said: "It is considered that there are now no grounds for refusing this application on matters relating specifically to archaeology."
The Yorkshire Branch of the Council for British Archaeology remains opposed to the scheme because of its fears about affects on the Thornborough Henges – a site which has been described as the Stonehenge of the North.
The CBA said it considered the application by Tarmac Northern Ltd would have an unacceptable impact on the setting and said the archaeological remains from the Neolithic and Bronze Age should be preserved in situ.
The Friends of Thornborough Henges have renewed their objection and Yorkshire Archaeological Society says the quarrying will have "an unacceptably erosive impact upon an overall archaeological landscape."
But English Heritage has welcomed the revised scheme. It said: "We feel it has addressed our initial concerns with regard to the preservation of archaeological deposits of national importance by omitting the southwest corner of the previous application site."
Posted by moss
20th August 2008ce